Monday, January 11, 2010

Economy Hype Brings On Madness

People are doing some crazy things in fear of the bad economy. In my local news, I have heard of two ridiculous measures being implemented. One, to cut the minimum wage by 4 cents. The other, to cut wages and/or hours of city and county employees. Please tell me how putting less money into people’s hands stimulates the economy! How big would an employer have to be to save significant money at 4 cents per hour per employee? And what employer would risk the relationship with their workers by cutting their already meager wage by another four cents? It is about as insulting as offering a nickel raise. And what is the payoff? Will it create jobs? Can you employ more people because you took 4 cents from another?

I worked for a company whose CEO stole $100,000 and got the small business into serious financial trouble. When the crisis consultant arrived, he prioritized payment schedule thus: pay employees first, then utilities, and everyone else can wait. Your employees always come first; they are the heart and soul of your business. And in a stressful situation, their fears and anxiety will affect their performance. They must have confidence that their jobs are safe and their paycheck is secure. The Chairman of the Board of Directors dismissed the crisis consultant and started making excuses to fire everyone so that he could create a new staff at minimum wages. No surprise, the business continues to founder.

There have always been rises and falls in the economy, but you know something new is going on when the banks and carmakers (who collectively have ALL of the money) are broke! This year, my family bought a Ford. They have retained a measure of credibility in an incredulous industry. But the world cannot exist long with the sort of greed driving every decision made. It really is off the chart nowadays.

Everyone is outraged about CEO’s giving themselves large bonuses, but I joke, "Hey, if you can trick the government into handing you that kind of money, you deserve every penny you get! You’re obviously a genius who knows how to work the system!" You have to wonder how trusted, elected officials collectively make decisions that no single person of any intelligence would ever seriously entertain.

Which is crazier? The fact that the richest and most successful businesses tolerate executives who bankrupt their own companies? Or that trusted, elected officials give them billions of dollars in bailouts? Or that the masses accept that their government is justified in doing so? Somehow, we are expected to accept this as the only possible solution because the issue is "complicated" or shrouded in mystery. But is it beyond human comprehension? The truth is that we all know what money is, what spending is, and what budgeting is! Their money is the same as my money, it adds and subtracts just like mine does. It is just a checkbook with lots of digits. To believe different is madness.

1 comment:

  1. You make a lot of good points here and I agree with a lot of what you're saying. I found you via Link Referral and I'm so glad I did!


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